This episode is the penultimate episode of the second season and as such, its job is to provide a springboard for the finale. I felt this episode did this perfectly.
The episode picks up right where we were left off with Harrow telling Nichols what happened between he and Chester when he was inside the coffin. Nichols is struggling to believe him, which leads to Harrow prying open the coffin to find the burnt body back in there. This doesn’t help Harrow and getting Nichols to believe him, especially when Harrow admits that Chester injected him and he passed out before he could see if there was a body in the coffin to begin with. Harrow also realises that the only reason Chester would have dug him back up is because he didn’t kill Fern. Harrow asks him to call Fern, only for Nichols to tell him that Fern is already at CIB, meanwhile Callan is being taken to hospital.
When Harrow and Nichols get to CIB, Fern tells Nichols that Chester tried to kill her. When Fern tells her side of the story, Nichols also struggles to believe her, however unlike Harrow, Fern is more aggressive with Nichols, telling him to go the Bettie so she can show him what happened. As Fern is describing what happened, Nichols finds syringes and drugs on the Bettie, which makes both Fern and Harrow look even more delusional. After Fern leaves the boat when Nichols makes it clear he doesn’t believe her and she insists that she didn’t make it up, she gets a phone call from St Catherine’s Hospital informing her about Callan’s accident.
Meanwhile Grace takes Harrow’s blood for testing and Maxine tells Harrow about Callan’s accident. When Harrow gets there, Fern tells him that Callan is in surgery as he is bleeding on the brain, and as they hug, she whispers in his ear that Nichol found drugs on the Bettie. While Fern and Harrow are at the hospital, Nichols makes the decision to have the burnt body examined again for once-and-for-all confirmation if the body is in fact Chester’s.
As Grace, Fairley and Edwina are re-examining the burnt body, Fairley informs Grace and Edwina that Harrow and Maxine were on the Chester case and a key piece of evidence in the case was traces of succinic acid found in the male victims. Fairley says Harrow claimed that it proved Chester injected them with succinylcholine but the defence argued that succinic acid naturally occurs in the body, so the evidence was dismissed. However Harrow found traces of propofyl in the female victims, a substance that doesn’t naturally occur in the body, at the eleventh hour and it ultimately led to Chester being convicted.
Meanwhile, Harrow asks Badcoe to come to town and he does. Badcoe tells Harrow that six months ago, a homeless man came into the morgue and he thought that the body had been sent to the crematorium, but he later found paperwork that cancelled the transfer, which he doesn’t recall doing, and the prison fire happened the same day. Badcoe tells Harrow that Rhonda transferred the bodies. Harrow asks Badcoe to tell the police this, however he refuses as it will mean convictions will be overturned and his career will be ruined. Harrow then kicks him off the Bettie.
Meanwhile Fern goes to the restaurant where Callan works and tries to find out more about what happened, however his boss refuses to help, on her way out, she finds Frank’s/Francis’ address only to discover that it is a vacant lot. While this is going on, Grace, Fairley and Edwina match the burnt body to Francis Chester, and Grace finds propofyl in Harrow’s blood. Maxine goes to the hospital to tell him this and asks if he’s self medicating, which he denies, she also tells him that the Deputy Coroner is holding an emergency meeting to determine his fate the next day and demands that he attends.
While Harrow is using the hospital’s bathroom, Chester sneaks into the hospital and sets off an evacuation alarm. As he is leaving he sees Chester in Callan’s room injecting him with something. Harrow tackles Chester away from him and Chester tells him he injected Callan with succinylcholine. Chester gives Harrow the choice of stopping him or saving Callan. Harrow ultimately chooses to save Callan, which he manages to do, however Chester leaves the hospital, sneaks up on Fern as she gets to the hospital, injects her with something (most likely succinylcholine) and kidnaps her.
Overall this was a solid penultimate episode as Chester successfully managed to make Fern and Harrow out to be crazy so they wouldn’t be believed, which provided Chester with more opportunities to hurt Harrow, which ultimately lead to kidnapping Fern, which the finale will ultimately focus on. I’m looking forward to seeing how this all plays out in the finale.
-The partial translation of the episode’s title, “Facilis Descensus” is “descent to hell”. This would definitely apply to this episode due to Chester setting Fern and Harrow up to look delusional so no-one will believe their stories.
-Francis Chester’s alias is Frank Webb.
- “That’s not his usual look right?” “I’ve seen worse.” (Edwina-Fairley on how Harrow looks after being buried alive)